R.I.P. David Emge, Flyboy from George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead

David Emge, best known for playing the role of Stephen / Flyboy in the George A. Romero classic Dawn of the Dead, has passed away

This week is getting started on a sad note, as it has been confirmed that David Emge – who played the role of Stephen, a.k.a. “Flyboy” in one of the greatest horror movies ever made, George A. Romero’s Dawn of the Dead (get it HERE) – has passed away at the age of 77.

Pierre Funeral Home provides the following obituary for Emge: David Michael Emge, 77, of Evansville, Indiana, passed away Saturday, January 20, 2024 at the West River Health Campus.

David was born September 9, 1946 in Evansville to the late Richard Andrew and Gertrude Mary (Wipf) Emge. He was a member of the Boy Scout Troop at Sacred Heart and a proud Eagle Scout. David studied drama at the University of Evansville and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree. While attending U of E, David was drafted into the United States Army and served during the Vietnam War. David began his acting career on stage at the Pittsburgh Playhouse in 1971 and made his film debut in the lowbrow comedy The Booby Hatch. He briefly lived in Washington, D.C., where he performed in dinner theatre. In 1976, he moved to New York City. He was working as a chef in New York when he was cast as the helicopter pilot, Stephen, in George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead. He was also cast in two other movies, Basket Case 2 and Hellmaster.

Surviving David are three sisters, Sue (Bob) Berry, Kathleen (Bob) Wittgen and Barbara (Allen) Rexing and many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews. In addition to his parents, Dave was preceded in death by sisters, Sr. Judith Emge, OSB and Mary Pat Smead and brothers, Charles, Richard, Walter, Melvin Emge and by and infant brother, Wayne Emge.

Our sincere condolences go out to David Emge’s family, friends, and fans – and if you would like to send condolences directly to them as well, than can be done at the Pierre Funeral Home link.

Dawn of the Dead is one of my all-time favorite movies, so I have enjoyed watching David Emge’s performance as Stephen / Flyboy many times over the decades. I’m familiar with The Booby Hatch and Basket Case 2 as well, but I’ve never seen Hellmaster. I’ll need to seek that one out to have a first time viewing in memory of Emge.

Dawn of the Dead David Emge

Source: Pierre Funeral Home

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of JoBlo.com, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.